A Call to Empathy: Thoughts From Chaplain Rachel Kessler

This article was written by Priest-in-charge of Harcourt Parish Rachel Kessler ’04 in response to the 2016 election

Like so many on this campus, I have a potentially unhealthy obsession with Hamilton. My favorite line in the whole show comes at the end of “It’s Quiet Uptown” when Angelica sings of the reconciliation between Alexander and Eliza: There are moments that the words don’t reach. / There’s a grace too powerful to name … Forgiveness, can you imagine?

Grace and forgiveness often are unimaginable concepts to us. I love that moment for the way it reflects healing love that defies all reason. But it only happens because Alexander spends most of the song naming his own culpability for his wife’s pain and begging for such forgiveness.

In the week since the election, there has been much talk about the need to come together as a country. As a Christian leader, I share in that call to empathy and mutual understanding as the only path forward. We must find a way to see the realities inhabited by other in our community – realities which may bear little resemblance to our own.

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